NFL Picks, Week 1: Back to take another gambling beating

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We break down NFL picks for Week 1 of the 2013 season.

We're back for the 2013 regular season, which means it is time for me to make more awful picks and hope for the best. I finished just a notch above .500 against the spread last year. I'm hoping for a slightly better performance in 2013, but I won't hold my breath on that. As with last year, every week I will provide predictions on every single game over the course of the season, and I'll track the picks against the spread and overall. I am getting my odds through our partners at Odds Shark.

The 49ers head into Sunday's game as 4.5 point favorites. The line has hung right around there all offseason as these two teams could provide us with a playoff preview. While I do think the 49ers are the better team, the Packers bring some intrigue to the game.

Far and away the most interesting aspect of the 2013 Packers is their new-look rushing attack. The Packers drafted Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. They cut Alex Green, and placed DuJuan Harris on injured reserve, which means Lacy and Franklin are going to get every chance to prove themselves. The question is how much they commit to the running game. First, you have Aaron Rodgers, so passing can certainly be inviting. Second, against the 49ers, they face a stiff run defense. If they do not find early success, do they abandon it? That will depend in part on how the 49ers are doing themselves on offense. It will be an interesting chess match given that we don't always hear much about the Packers run game.

Amidst all our discussion about the 49ers and Colin Kaepernick, it is easy to forget that Aaron Rodgers will be across the field. The 49ers defense will be ready for Rodgers, but it will be one of the tougher challenges of the season. We'll find out how much the offseason additions help the 49ers depth. The 49ers will need to get a consistent pass rush so their secondary isn't forced to run around for lengthy stretches. The 49ers have some talented cornerbacks, but as we saw late last season, when the pass rush wasn't there, the secondary suffered. The 49ers pass rush will be as important as anything in how this game plays out.

On to the picks!

Ravens @ Broncos (-7.5): Broncos cover
Seahawks (-3.5) @ Panthers: Panthers win outright
Raiders @ Colts (-10.5): Colts cover
Titans @ Steelers (-7.5): Titans cover
Patriots (-11) @ Bills: Patriots cover
Vikings @ Lions (-5): Lions cover
Bucs (-3.5) @ Jets: Bucs cover
Dolphins @ Browns (even): Browns win outright
Falcons @ Saints (-3): Saints cover
Bengals @ Bears (-3): Bengals win outright
Chiefs (-4) @ Jaguars: Chiefs cover
Cardinals @ Rams (-4.5): Rams cover
Packers @ 49ers (-4.5): 49ers cover
Giants @ Cowboys (-3): Cowboys cover
Eagles @ Washington (-3): Washington cover
Texans (-3.5) @ Chargers: Texans cover

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